Foundations of Chemistry 1 (1):17-41 (1999)

Abstract
Central to many issues surrounding reduction in science is the relation between a physical system and its components. In this article we examine how thermodynamic theory relates properties of whole systems to properties of their components. In order to keep the analysis general, we focus our study on universal properties like volume, heat capacity, energy and temperature. In the cases examined we find that scientific explanation requires appeal to properties of components that are spatially as extensive as the whole system. We discuss some implications of our study for the purported paradigmatic reductions of heat and temperature to molecular motion. We conclude that while macro systems reduce ontologically to micro components, epistemologically the reduction of theoretical concepts in general fails.
Keywords Philosophy   Chemistry/Food Science, general   Physical Chemistry   Philosophy of Science   History
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1009984310105
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 61,025
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Ontological Autonomy of the Chemical World.Olimpia Lombardi & Martín Labarca - 2004 - Foundations of Chemistry 7 (2):125-148.
Nagel's Analysis of Reduction: Comments in Defense as Well as Critique.Paul Needham - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (2):163-170.
Why Orbitals Do Not Exist?Martín Labarca & Olimpia Lombardi - 2010 - Foundations of Chemistry 12 (2):149-157.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
145 ( #70,849 of 2,439,471 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #433,243 of 2,439,471 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes